Ferrari 458 Speciale A (2014) convertible revealed

Published: 25 September 2014

Thrill-seekers start queuing here: the new Ferrari 458 Speciale A is here, the convertible version of the Speciale road rocket.

And the 'A' in the name? That stands for Aperta, or open in Italian.

Ferrari 458 Speciale A: the fastest convertible in Maranello's history

Only 499 Speciale roadsters will be built and they're in for a visceral treat: this is the most powerful spider ever made by Ferrari.

This is essentially 'just' a convertible version of the fixed-head 458 Speciale you'll see in our video below (we've twin-tested it with the Porsche 911 GT3 in the October 2014 issue of CAR magazine), but being a Ferrari it's so much more than that.

Continuing with the 16M Scuderia left off, the new Speciale A boasts 597bhp at 9000rpm and 398lb ft of torque at a high - but surely thrilling-sounding - 6000rpm.

End result? Ferrari claims a 0-62mph time of just 3.0sec dead. Nought to 124mph (200kmh) takes just 9.5 seconds. Just think about that for a second. Most family cars have yet to reach the UK motorway speed limit in that time...

What the 458 Speciale A feels like

Obviously, nobody has driven the open-top Speciale yet - the car will only make its world debut at the 2014 Paris motor show next week. But we're very familiar with the base 458 Italia and the Speciale coupe. We just know this roadster version will be a thrill to drive.

The appeal is mostly in that 4497cc V8 mounted amidships in the Ferrari's chest. It's such a characterful, revvy engine - all fizzing energy, sonic barks and synapse-defying lightning gearchanges through its dual-clutch gearbox.

Ferrari makes great play of its modest 275g/km CO2 rating, but we'd rather remember it for its raw energy and sense of occasion.

The roof

There's an aluminium retractable hard top on the Speciale, which takes just 14 seconds to raise or lower. Even the roof is lightweight; Maranello claims the A weighs just 50 kilos more than the coupe.

Watch the 458 Speciale coupe in action in our video trailer for the twin test in the current issue below.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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